So, in honor of completing my first year on the road, the Sheriff’s Office gave me…?
Another cow call.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, a bovine interception call. It wasn’t at 3:00 in the morning, like the first one a year ago was, nor was it cows wandering the roadway, as it had been then. (And yeah, I remember, with heart-stopping shock, the old man who we called to come get his cows. He walked up to one, stared it dead in the face, then turned to me and said, “Ain’t mine,” and promptly left.)
This was much better than wandering cows or cows hit by cars or trucks or cows stuck on a fence. This was cows…gone. Just gone. No fuss, no muss, no forwarding address.
“My babies are gone,” the lady said.
“They break through the fence?” I asked.
She showed me. No break.
“Someone let them out?” I asked.
Didn’t look like it.
“Checked with all the neighbors?”
“Absolutely,” she said.
“So, the Grays come get them?” I wanted to ask.
Now, I realize I don’t know anything about cows other than that they’re great with a slightly tangy but not too sweet, full-bodied red sauce after having been cooked over an open pit flame, but I wasn’t sure it was possible for 11 head of cattle to simply disappear. And this woman, poor thing, was absolutely bananas about them. She was in tears about her cows.
And it wasn’t just because we were talking about roughly $15,000. It was because her cows were gone. You know…like my dogs are gone…or my child got snatched. Her cows were GONE and what in the hell was the Sheriff’s Office, the State Police, the FBI, the ATF, ICE, and Homeland Security prepared to do about that?
She was CRAZED about it. Tears and drama and hyperventilation. I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance to give her some tranquilizer or something.
“You have to find them,” she said.
“I’ll do my best.”
At her demand, my best was going to include walking – slowly and with a crime scene kit – the entire fence line. All the way around her fifteen or twenty acres or whatever it was. I, on the other hand, offered to drive it and see what was what.
“How can you see trace evidence from your car?”
Apparently she didn’t want me, she wanted Gil Grissom. Grissom would catch them (because I was obviously an idiot and not up to the task) and she would cheerfully hang them herself at the courthouse square.
She actually used some language that I’d never heard, some colorful variations on curse words that made ME blush…and you know that’s going some.
I felt for her but at the same time, there was part of me, terrible though it is to say, that assumed the deputies at the office had set up a camera somewhere and were watching all this via monitor and laughing their asses off.
Then, as I’m really unsure what to do next, her son comes strolling over from next door.
“Mom,” he said. “They’re at Teddy’s.”
“Teddy has them. They’re in his pen.”
“Oh.” So then she looked back at me and shrugged. “Never mind.”